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What's Sex (Composition) Got To Do With It? The Importance of Sex Composition of Gangs for Female and Male Members' Offending and Victimization

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 35 Issue: 6 Dated: 2018 Pages: 941-976
Date Published
36 pages
This study examined whether the sex composition of gangs is linked to sex differences in offending and assessed whether sex composition similarly structures females' and males' victimization experiences, and if so, why.

The sex composition of groups has been theorized in organizational sociology and found in prior work to structure female and male members' behaviors and experiences. Peer group and gang literature similarly finds that the sex gap in offending varies across groups with differing sex ratios. The current study obtained self-report data from gang members in a multi-site, longitudinal study of 3,820 youths. Results support previous findings about variations in member delinquency by both sex and sex composition of the gang and indicate parallel variations in members' victimization. These results are further considered within the context of facilitating effects, such as gender dynamics, gang characteristics, and normative orientation. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018